Ex Mercedes Confidante Replaces FIA Executive Director Peter Bayer After Strange Step Down

Published 06/02/2022, 5:23 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 29, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the formation lap REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

FIA Executive Director Peter Bayer has left his post! Now, an ex Mercedes employee will act as his replacement! His departure comes after massive reshuffling and restructuring of the FIA. Notably, the former director also assisted Mohammed bin Sulayem to adjust to his presidential role with the FIA.

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Bayer has a rich history with Formula 1, and they gave him a key role in scrutinizing the Abu Dhabi controversy. With his experience of over 20 years in international sports and entertainment businesses, the man held a high-profile position.

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Shocking! Mercedes employee replaces Peter Bayer

Shaila-Ann Rao will replace Bayer on an “interim basis”. She previously served with Toto Wolff and Mercedes F1 as their special advisor. Moreover, she has also worked with the FIA back in 2016-2018, as their Legal Director.

In a recent statement, the FIA thanked Bayer for his contributions. They wrote, “The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile announces the departure of Peter Bayer, who served as Secretary General for Sport since 2017 and also as F1 Executive Director since 2021.” 

“The FIA warmly thanks him for the achievements he has contributed to the development of motor sport over the last five years.”

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Remarkably, Bayer worked hard toward improving the safety and sustainability of the sport. He also created the World Rally-Raid Championship, whilst managing his F1 duties.

FIA and Race Control have seen major restructuring

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Bayer’s involvement was important in the Abu Dhabi race controversy. Following scrutiny alongside him, the then race director, Michael Masi, left his post this year. Heavy criticism of the controversy had followed, after which they also restructured Race Control. Two new race directors stepped in to handle Masi’s role and alternate it amongst themselves.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 29, 2022 Haas’ Mick Schumacher crashes out of the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

However, despite the changes, arguably questionable situations have still arisen. Last weekend’s Monaco GP was a big mess where the F1 fraternity remained uninformed regarding the rain delays and power issues. Strikingly, no safety car even made its way out to check the on-track conditions.

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Watch This Story: When F1 Drivers Had a Blast on Top Gear Featuring Hamilton, Vettel & Ricciardo

Do you think Bayer stepping down from his post is an ominous sign for F1? Or can they improve the issues by themselves?

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Khyati Yadav

358 articles

Khyati Yadav is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. She is a Hospitality Graduate and a huge fan of Lando Norris. She believes that F1 as a sport deserves a lot more attention and is intrigued by the process that goes behind the making of a car and the hard work that goes into the setting up of any Grand Prix.

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